Etsy is home to many successful print-on-demand stores. In this article, we look at 5 six-figure stores to learn what makes them so successful.
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Nothing beats learning from other successful sellers.
And what other better place than Etsy to find stores that are crushing it with print-on-demand.
Etsy is a huge online marketplace where people buy and sell handmade goods made by other merchants.
Each year, selling on here is becoming more and more lucrative. In 2019, they had an active buying population of over 45 million people.
In this article, we’ve cherry picked 5 print-on-demand stores that have each made over $100,000.
Let’s look at each store, why they’re successful, and how you can apply their techniques to your store.
Store 1) WimlyMugs.
Revenue (approximate): $100,000
WimlyMugs is an Etsy store that sells mugs.
But not any ordinary type of mug. They focus on mugs that feature a horoscope along with the option to include your name.
There were many reasons why this store is successful. But what stood out to us was their ability to personalize their products.
Everyone admires something a little bit more when it’s customized just for them. That’s why people get obsessed with horoscope readings, and why it’s a billion dollar industry.
When you pair a horoscope reading with a cute, personalized mug, it’s clear to see why this store has generated over $100,000 in sales.
How can you apply this to your store?
Where possible, give customers the option to personalize their own products in your store. Many people buy this as a cute gift for themselves, or for their horoscope-obsessed friends.
Store 2) HexAppealClothing.
Revenue (approximate): $300,000
A lot of print-on-demand stores focus on selling t-shirts.
There’s no doubt that t-shirts are profitable, However, if you focus on one type of product, you limit the number of potential customers you attract. And how much money can potentially make.
HexAppealClothing were aware of this. Besides the common t-shirt, they also include other clothing, such as leggings and sports bras. Which have proven to be equally as profitable.
As a small clothing brand, being unique is key.
If you sell products that customers can easily find at the local mall, this might hinder your chances of making any sales.
Why? Take a plain white t-shirt as an example. This is one of the most accessible t-shirts anyone could find.
A tiny store on Etsy would likely be the last place to find a white t-shirt. There’s just way too many stores out there for you to compete on price (or quality).
It’s when you sell something completely unique—something hard to find at the mall—that you give customers a reason to buy from you.
You want them to think: “If I don’t buy it from this store, where else will I be able to find it?”
Another benefit of selling products that are unique is that it gives you power to set your own price. If you’re one of the rare few selling it, you don’t need to worry about a customer price-checking your product on Amazon.
With this in mind, see if you can feature products in your online store that can’t be easily found at the mall.
For this brand, they chose to sell products like custom sports bras and leggings. But there’s other merch like sweatpants or tote bags you could look into. The opportunity is enormous.
Store 3) SheMugs.
Revenue (approximate): $100,000
Similar to store number one, SheMugs sells custom mugs for women.
Many of their top-selling designs, like this mug, are nothing but simple text. In the industry, we call these ‘text-based’ designs.
Not only can text-based designs be very profitable, but they’re also incredibly easy to create.
You don’t need to be a graphic designer to write a piece of text on a t-shirt. All you really need is a tool that allows you to place text on top of a white or transparent background.
We recommend that you use a tool called Canva. It’s free, and they have a wide range of amazing fonts you can try out.
But, of course, not every text-based design will be profitable. So, how do you create one that sells? Here’s a few tips:
- Gain inspiration from meme pages. See what type of posts receive the most likes, shares and comments that you can turn it into text on a t-shirt.
- Spy on successful designs. An easy way to do this is by typing in your niche into the Etsy search bar to see which designs come up first.
- Emulate. If you find a top-selling design, re-create it with a different font style or format.
- Test. Create a number of designs and upload them to your store. See which designs sell and which ones don’t.
Usually, finding a good design isn’t about re-inventing the wheel. It’s more to do with looking at what other people are buying. Then, re-create the design in a way that’s unique to your niche.
Store 4) Sharpshirter.
Revenue (approximate): $500,000
This store sells a range of arty designs that are printed onto household items.
And, looking at the number of sales they’ve achieved, it’s clear these types of products are in huge demand.
Most designers typically choose to sell their art on a canvas. Again, this may be profitable, but it’s not a unique way to market art work. And remember, being unique gets rewarded.
That’s why Sharpshirter has taken a completely different route.
Instead, they’ve applied their artwork onto household accessories that people use every day. For example, bath mats and shower curtains.
This is another example of going against the grain, but it’s not just bath mats and shower curtains you can do this with. You can place artwork onto pillows, aprons, towels, even bean bags!
There are so many different types of products to test.
For product ideas, check out these 10 trending products you can add to your store right now.
Store 5) PooSparkles.
Revenue (approximate): $200,000
Different to all the stores above, this store sells funny and quirky products that feature famous celebrities.
Now, one thing to keep in mind is that this is completely illegal.
While it may be tempting to profit from a celebrity’s existing fan-base, it can lead you into legal troubles.
The reason why is because celebrities are protected under a law called Personality Rights. This gives them the right to control the use of their name, image, and likeness for commercial products being sold. So you can’t simply slap any celebrity’s face onto a t-shirt and start selling it.
However, like with anything, some are able to get away with it. And that’s usually because, even though it’s illegal, some celebrities just don’t have time to pursue such small sellers like us.
Moreover, some celebrities see it as a means of gaining more publicity!
On the other hand, there are workaround solutions to piggybacking off of a well-known person, or brand. Here’s an article that shows you four legal ways to sell branded products.
The Bottom Line
Studying other successful stores can be the best way to fast-track your success. Chances are if it’s working for them, then it may work for you.
Whether you’re just starting out, or already have an online store, these stores may offer you a fresh perspective on how to market your next product.